Greetings from the
Mayor's Office. I hope you have had a good week and that the weekend
will allow you and your families to have a lot of fun or get a lot of
needed work completed around the
house, whichever is the priority. Kay and I are going to try to do both
with our grandchildren helping us. We will be going to Huntsville
tomorrow to watch our five-year old grandson, Luke Williams, play his last
T-Ball game of the season. We always enjoy visiting Luke, his mom and
dad, Kara and Daniel, and his three-year old sister, Jillian. They live
in the Ryland community, just over the mountain on Highway 72 East.
to thank our Electrical Utility Department for their hard work since
Sunday night, to get everyone’s electricity back into service. This
storm caused at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars in damage and
costs to our system. Gary Scroggins, Johnny Pryor, the crews, and all the
support staff did an excellent job for us. Most citizens do not know the
process our folks go through when we have power outages. As soon as it is
safe to put crews in the field after damage occurs and assessments are
made as to locations of the damage, the crews go out and begin work at the
point of damage, that when repaired, will get power to the greatest number
of customers. Most of the time we have sub-stations knocked out and this
source of power must be up and running before anyone can get power. After
these things are completed, we go to the next largest number of customers
that can be restored. We do have special exceptions such as the hospital,
communications facilities, nursing homes, and homes that have persons on
respirators or other life-saving medical devices that need electricity.
We try to get to them as soon as we can. Sometimes we can’t get power
back on quickly because lines and poles are down and must be rebuilt.
This takes some time and effort but most of this is done within the week.
This latest storm knocked down about fifty poles and lines and that takes
a large amount of time to reconstruct. The more isolated a home, the
longer it will usually be out of power. While power outages are no fun
for anyone, I want you to know that our employees work very hard to make
sure the customers have power as soon as possible. Give them a work of
thanks when you see them.
I hope the elections went to suit you because they are over and done.
Congratulations to Judge Jeannie Anderson for being re-elected to the
District Judgeship. Her opponent, Jim Moffett is to be congratulated for
running a good, clean race
during his first foray into
politics. Congratulations to our new Circuit Judge, Bob Baker, who won
his first time out, over veteran Circuit Judge, George Craig. This turned
out to be a very close race. Congratulations to Judge Craig and his
family, for the long and hard campaign they fought, and for the many years
of public service he and his family have given to us. Congratulations to
Bill Daws and his family for his big win over Shag Abernathy, for the
County Commission District 4 Office. Both men and their families are to
be congratulated for their fine races. From reports I have read, the
County voted about 22% and the State about 16%. We beat the state but we
should have had a lot more voting. I always want to encourage you to vote
whenever you have the opportunity.
run-off election will be held on June 29, 2004, in Limestone County. The
item of most interest to the citizens of Limestone County for this
election will be a Constitutional amendment regarding the City of Athens
being allowed to participate in a new way for financing commercial
projects. We will be getting information out to you in order for you to
be knowledgeable about this issue.
Rotary Club had a special program on Friday to honor the family of the
late Mrs. Jewell Rosenau, wife of the late Limestone County Superior Court
Judge, D.L. Rosenau. Her two daughters, Joy Graham, and Jill Hicks, were
present for the occasion. I presented a proclamation from the Mayor's
Office proclaiming the day as Jewel Rosenau Day in Athens. Mrs. Rosenau
was a wonderful lady and she played the piano for the local Rotary Club
for many years at their weekly meeting. Jill and I were in the 1960 class
at Athens High School and Mrs. Rosenau was active in our school affairs
and was the chaperone at numerous parties and dances. One fond memory I
have of those days was our class trip to Washington, D.C., and New York
City. J.D. Clanton, our Senior class sponsor, Mrs. Rosenau, my father,
Jake Williams, Mrs. J.C. Chisholm, mother of our classmate, Sharon
Chisholm, and Fran Coggin, mother of our classmate, John Coggin, were our
chaperones. We had such a good time and they made sure we all behaved
while we were there. I feel honored to be asked to present this
proclamation in memory to such a great lady.
attended a meeting in Montgomery Wednesday with the Alabama League of
Municipalities regarding a proposed Bond Pooling Program for the
Municipalities in the State of Alabama. This program will allow smaller
cities to have access to money for projects, but they will not have to go
for a bond issue on their own. The League pool would borrow in increments
of fifty million as one issue, and the cities would tap into that pool. I
will have more about this later.
of us have birthdays coming up very soon. Mine will be Sunday, June 6.
My daughter, Whitney, will have hers on June 8. Ewell Smith, retiree from
Athens State University, is exactly one year younger than me. Ewell and
his family have had a great influence upon our community. His dad, Bill
Smith, served as City Councilman for several terms, Billy Swanner,
retired from Alabama National Guard, is exactly ten years older than me.
Billy is a great friend who has always supported me. He served our Nation
well in the Korean War with the 1343d Engineer Battalion, which included a
lot of our current citizens of Athens. I don’t know what our family will
do for our birthdays but we always get together to eat cake and ice cream
with our extended family. Let us know what you did for yours.
Speaking of birthdays and age, the kids starting to college this fall
were born in 1985 and a college in Wisconsin puts together a list to try
to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year’s list:
are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
lifetime has always included aids.
caps have always been screw-off and plastic.
was introduced the year they were born.
have always had answering machines.
have always had cable T.V.
cannot fathom not having a remote control.
Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
has always been cooked in the microwave.
never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
can’t imagine what hard contacts are.
don’t know who Mork was and where he was from.
never heard: “Where’s the beef?, I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, or “de
plane boss, de plane”.
don’t care who shot J.R., and have no idea who he was.
McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers.
don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.
thought about a few more things I did that they never did:
never played mumbley peg.
never have knocked rocks.
never used Rose or Vaseline hair oil to comb their hair.
never got flattops.
They never wore ducktails.
They never did art with a
piece of string on their fingers.
Their class never sang,
“Good morning to you” to their teacher each day.
They never played “Roll the
bat”, or “Shove up”.
They never made their own
They never clamped their
skates on their shoes with a skate key.
They never ate Uncle Remus
They never purchased a 4
cent Grapette cold drink.
They never had a “dime Baby
They never cob battled in
They never got their typhoid
shot before going swimming the first time.
They never saw mules and
wagons around the Courthouse square.
They never paid a dime to
get in the Ritz theatre.
They never ate a Daniel’s
They never picked or chopped
They never made clover
Maybe you can add to this
list. It would be interesting to hear other things you remember that I
have forgotten. Let me hear from you with your list and I’ll add it next
I received a birthday card
from our niece, Pearl Lamb, who lives in St. Louis with her husband Scott
and their children. She said she enjoyed reading this letter on athensplus.com and I’m glad she has access. Pearl is a favorite cousin of
our kids and we wish we could see her and the kids often. Her parents are
Gail and J.D. Clanton who live on Brookwood Drive in Athens. She needs to
send me her e-mail address so Kay can stay in touch more often.
Don’t forget that our second
annual Freedom Feste is coming up on July fourth weekend at the Athens
High School stadium in one month. This will be a two day event so be
looking at the local papers and t.v. to find out what is happening and
when to be there. This will be to honor our troops and all those involved
in the war on terror. Be sure that you say a special prayer for the men
and women each day to be safe and that they may be returned to their loved
I will be reading at the
Green Door Book store and café on Saturday morning at their after school
blowout. I think this program is for all kids who are out of school for
the summer. Come on out and join in the fun for this day.
Our new swimming pool,
located in the Sportsplex, opened today, Friday, June 4. The cost is $4
for adults and $3 for children. A season pass can be purchased for $160
per person. The hours of operation will be 12:00 to 9:00 p.m., each day
except Wednesday and Saturday will be 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. The pool will be
closed on Sundays. This is a brand new, beautiful facility for our
citizens and we ask that everyone do their best to take care of it. The
lifeguards and management will ask everyone to be on their best behavior
so parents will feel good about their children using the pool. Go by the
Sportsplex and see our new pool at your first opportunity.
Take care and I’ll see you next week. mayordan